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4/15/2014 » 6/10/2014
CEU: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - Kenmore, WA

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The Importance of a Clear Diagnosis Part II - Online

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CEU: The Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprenticeship Program - Boulder, CO

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AAAOM Executive Director's Blog
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This is the blog of Denise Graham, our Executive Director.

 

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Honor Our Veterans

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dear Colleagues and Members:

The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine thanks all practitioners who serve or have served in our armed forces. Please consider reaching out to your area’s veterans by offering a free or discounted session or a discounted multi-session fee.

Other ways to support our service members: Purchase The Secretkeepers. Mr. Taromina, a longtime friend and member of AAAOM, has directed that all royalties from The Secretkeepers go to the Veterans Fund, a charitable fund that provides Oriental medicine treatments to military veterans.

Click here to buy The Secretkeepers

You can also contribute directly: Veterans Fund, c/o Michael Taromina, 714 Broadway, Suite Five, Paterson, NJ 07514.

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Partnerships Leverage Power for Our Profession

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 31, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013


Dear Members and AOM Colleagues:

While there are many recognized benefits and advantages to partnerships, the main reason why partnerships are established is relatively simple: There is added value in working with other organizations.

A working definition of a partnership is "a collaborative relationship between entities to work toward shared objectives through a mutually agreed division of labor.” Establishing such partnerships takes time so the right framework and structure can be created, allowing the partnership to have a basis for measuring its benefits to all involved.

I would like to highlight and call attention to the work being created through two of these important partnerships:

1. The Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) is a broad coalition of healthcare professionals, patients, and organizations driving public policy to ensure all Americans have access to safe, high quality, integrated health care as well as the basic building blocks of health—whole foods, and clean air, and water.

IHPC’s prior executive director was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. This gives our partnership team unprecedented access to key influencers in the Obama administration. The AAAOM actively participates in decision-making and communications that lead to sharing critical information that makes our partnership effective.

2. The Coalition for Patient Rights consists of more than 35 organizations representing a variety of licensed health care professionals. They, too, seek to counter efforts designed to limit patients' choice of health practitioners.

Each organization works together, bringing unique assets that make our partnership viable and valuable on behalf of you, our members. Our common values and interests make partnerships with these organizations vital to our mission. These organizations partner with AAAOM as they seek to include qualified, educated practitioners so that patients have safe, effective healthcare options.

Health care continues to expand and get more complicated every day. To protect the interests of our patients and our practitioners, associations must work together to counter other, more well-funded medical lobbying groups who may not always see the bigger picture. By leveraging these relationships, we optimize our efforts, take advantage of other organizations’ strengths, and work toward goals we have long wanted to accomplish.

Sincerely,

Denise Graham

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JOIN US IN HONORING OUR HEROES

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Now is the time for us to step up and be counted among those who have invested in, promoted, and supported the science of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM). As professionals, it is very important for us to reach out as one voice, to educate the public as well as our fellow healthcare providers about AOM and its role in healthcare today. To date, your colleagues have pledged $16,906. Many of them have agreed to be listed on our Acupuncture Heroes Wall, while some have chosen to remain anonymous.

To those who have already donated to the Acupuncture Action Fund: Thank you! To those who have yet to contribute, it is critical that you give your support to the practice and science of AOM.

When you donate to the fund, your name may be added to the Acupuncture Heroes Wall acknowledging your contribution to the profession and protection of your patients. We encourage you to view those who have already given to this important campaign.

We look forward to adding your name to our Acupuncture Heroes Wall. In doing so, you play an important role in advancing the profession while protecting our patients.

Best regards,

Michael Jabbour, MS, LAc
President, AAAOM Board of Directors

Denise Graham
AAAOM Executive Director


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A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 09, 2013

A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

Dear Colleagues:

For decades, AOM professionals have worked tirelessly to educate their critics on the proven benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Our community continues to demonstrate that there is room for both medical cultures and sciences in complement of one another to benefit patients and their healing processes. As more and more audiences promote the benefits of AOM—patients, clinicians, policymakers, etc.—the time has never been better to present a unified voice supporting federal recognition of our medicine.

If we are to convince our nation’s policymakers that our medicine must be included in the federal standards about to be implemented, we need to do it now. Otherwise, policies that we do not embrace will be adopted, and AOM will continue to struggle for recognition and inclusion within the nation’s healthcare system.

On behalf of millions of patients who need and desire acupuncture services, it is essential that we move forward with a united front. through a powerful advocacy effort. Over twenty-five thousand letters were sent to legislators who heard our collective voice Federally-mandated health insurance coverage for acupuncture has already been achieved via our Essential Health Benefits call to action. Thanks to the powerful advocacy efforts of the AAAOM and our partners, nearly 54 million Americans in six states and four territories now have access to acupuncture that is covered by health insurance. This means practitioners in California, Alaska, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington—as well as American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands—will not only be able to serve more patients but will significantly grow their practices.

From a timing standpoint, the AAAOM couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to press for this added coverage, given that our soon-to-be-launched annual public awareness initiative will dovetail nicely with a variety of federal legislation about to be introduced.

Your national association is working tirelessly on your behalf. We ask for your continued support and action to make discrimination concerning medical approaches a thing of the past and - unfettered patient access our reality.

Sincerely,

Denise Graham

AAAOM Executive Director

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Leading The Way

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Leading The Way
 
Dear Members and AOM Colleagues:
 
The topic of leadership has been and will be continuously debated at great length. Many of us have attended leadership conferences, listened to tapes or CDs on the topic, or have learned through years of experience the key areas of focus that are necessary to become a great leader.
 
To lead an organization, one key point of leadership is a clear understanding of the organization’s mission and purpose. This understanding shows commitment to that organization and passion about its direction. Dedication to ongoing learning about the profession we lead is at the core of investing in ourselves and others. Staying current about trends and insisting on creating a work/life balance for oneself are also key components.
 
Leadership also requires a commitment to communication among the ranks of any organization. Absence of transparency is one of the quickest ways for an organization to develop morale problems. Recognizing this, I’m committed to—indeed, passionate about—maintaining a strong link to AAAOM’s membership through ongoing communications. An important first step in this direction is the expansion of our monthly newsletter to include brief overviews of articles pertaining to acupuncture. Each synopsis offers the reader a link to the full article. It is our intent to expand this feature over time, thereby providing our membership an easy way to keep abreast of key developments within their science.
 
Building strong relationships is also critical to the success of a nonprofit organization. As AAAOM’s executive director (ED), I see this as one of my primary roles. Over the last three months I have worked to connect with key opinion leaders in the field, including corporate partners that are aligned with AAAOM’s mission. Additionally, I continue to reach out to our state associations to explore ways we can grow the profession together. Looking for win/win opportunities and proactively collaborating, as well as focusing on providing excellent member services, are all key elements to build and strengthen AAAOM.
 
Sharing leadership responsibilities is of primary importance to any outstanding leader. This attribute requires recognizing the talents and abilities of others and appropriately delegating authority to them. This allows the building of a strong board and a balance of power as well as the ability to take a secondary role when collaborating with other organizations. A vital component of my role as AAAOM ED is to indeed help grow a stronger, broader-based board, which spans a variety of services such as initiating leadership development, educating our constituents and the public at large about the attributes of acupuncture, and providing media training for our Board.
 
And, finally, to be a good leader, it is essential to ensure effective delivery, measurable outcomes, the creation of diverse, sustainable sources of funding, and the holding of everyone (including myself) accountable for fulfilling commitments. Those of you who took part on our June 26th Profession-Wide Conference Call heard my commitment to the AAAOM, including my review of our past, present, and future initiatives. Highlights of this call included:
  • Review of 2011–2012 activities
  • Reference to 2011 and 2012 annual reports
  • Review of current activities
  • Discussion on 2013-2016 strategic plan
  • Overview and importance of committee work and other operational directions
  • Questions/Answers
  • 2 PDAs were awarded to AAAOM member attendees
In addition to the above highlights, the AAAOM’s 2012 Annual Report reflects the forward movement of AAAOM and provides a clear assessment of our journey during the past year and our path to leadership in the profession.
 
Sincerely,
 
Denise Graham

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Advocate - Executive Director's Column (May 2013)

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Among the keys to the success of any organized structure—whether it’s an association, corporation, or even a club—is communication between its members. The old cliché about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link applies to the concept of information sharing. Without it, the organization suffers at the precise point where communication stops.

This is the first in a series of newsletters designed to communicate to and with you and others on matters of importance to your profession. The purpose of this missive is to discuss information, advancement and yes, even problems, openly, through communications. To quote an unknown author, "Sunlight is the greatest elixir.” In this case, s/he was referring to benefits of transparency, the panacea that leads to the success of all organizations.

In my short tenure as your new executive director, I’ve become increasingly aware that while acupuncture and Oriental medicine is a valuable science whose benefit to millions has been recognized for centuries, it also presents an interesting dichotomy.

As you well know, acupuncture is around 3,000 years old, based on the carbon dating of turtle carapaces carved by the Chinese in order to record their knowledge before inventing paper around 100 BCE.

The science may be even older than we realized. Ötzi the iceman, found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, reportedly had acupuncture tattoos on his body that corresponded to points that would be placed to aid arthritis today.

And yet, even here in the west, where acupuncture has been known for hundreds of years, (Benjamin Franklin received acupuncture treatments in the 1700s), the question remains "Why is this centuries-old eastern science still not universally combined with western medicine (the dichotomy I mentioned earlier)?"

In part, the answer lies in communication. Those who revere acupuncture and who already know its benefits must do a better job communicating its values to those who’ve yet to realize the lengthy list of maladies this science helps and heals.

This is where the AAAOM comes in. One of our most important goals—to educate consumers, policymakers and insurers of the benefits of acupuncture—is definitely achievable. However, it takes communication, and much of it. We have a much stronger base of supporters than even we realize: those who depend on acupuncture to assist with their healthcare; physicians and healthcare professionals who already know the benefits of eastern medicine, and even some policymakers who, either personally or through family members, are proponents of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Added to this is our never-ending need to partner with other organizations. This, too, can only be achieved through communication. We must continually communicate with them and with each other in order to achieve our goals.

I look forward to communicating with you and I hope you’ll communicate back to me so that together we can make the AAAOM’s voice even stronger than it is.

-Denise Graham

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